Frequently asked questions

How the impact is calculated?

To identify and assess the environmental impact of textile supply chain, we have followed the Life Cycle Assessment Methodology. Using this approach, we identified the major phases over the course of the product life span and calculated their environmental impact.

Environmental impact data was collected from peer reviewed published research articles, official websites and from reliable research data sources.

Useful data was extracted from collected data and where needed it was verified by comparing with the figures obtained by calculations based on their chemical formulae. The mean values of all the collected data were computed, it also ensures the reduction of chances of error. The transportation of materials also adds significantly to total impact of textile supply chain and for calculation of transport impact we have used the calculations provided by a Network for Transport Measures “NTM”, is a nonprofit organisation, initiated in 1993 aiming at establishing a common base of values on how to calculate the environmental performance for all various modes of traffic, including goods transport and passenger travel.

1.1 Garment Production Impact

Impact of garment manufacturing is a result of two simultaneous experiments. On one end research was conduct at Outso wearables, a garment factory in Lahore Pakistan, whereas on other end PaperTale and Science Park (Borås – Sweden) worked closely for calculating the impact of the garment production. Both research experiments were conducted with different methodologies but with a common approach. The approach involved using the operation lists of a particular garment and measuring the energy input required for each machine used for performing operations. In research at Borås, input energy requirement was measured by using special measuring devices provided by ABB, a leading global technology company. This collected data was combined with manually collected data of water and CO2 consumption that occurs during the manufacturing processes. The CO2 calculation was made possible through the energy suppliers providing their own systematic analysis.

1.2 Farming Impact by Cotton Australia

Australian cotton is one of our preferred raw materials and for the estimation of water consumption and its impact calculation we coordinate with Cotton Australia, which is the peak body for Australia’s cotton growers, representing up to 1,500 cotton farms. Cotton Australia further work together with Cotton Research and Development Corporation, a partnership between the Commonwealth Government and cotton growers, CRDC invests in world-leading RD&E to benefit Australia’s dynamic cotton industry, and the wider community. Both organisations work together to extract the data both for water consumption and carbon footprint impact of Australian cotton. Basis for water consumption relies on Australian government regulations for water withdrawals for irrigation purposes and the study of the annual data on water use efficiency. Gross Production Water Use Index is populated that includes irrigation water, rainfall, and soil moisture, giving a complete picture of how much water is used to grow a kilogram of Australian cotton. The final data used is on basis of five-year rolling average. Likewise, the carbon impact data of irrigated cotton is calculated including pre-farm inputs, on basis of five-year rolling average

Why blockchain ?

Blockchain is already used in a lot of different industries, but its application in fashion is only just emerging. Why? Well, you will not be surprised to hear that corrupt deals can still happen behind closed doors in spite of the good intentions of a brand. In this way, certificates end up being signed where standards aren’t actually being met, often unbeknown to the brand.

In a supply chain operating with blockchain, every single transaction that occurs is given a timestamp and a unique ID in the network. The reason we really love blockchain is that once that ID has been created in the virtual “chain”, no one can go back and change it. Therefore, by basing our technology on blockchain, we can assure you that – to the best of our knowledge – your products are being produced corruption and slavery free and we are working tirelessly to make it near perfect – Just follow the trail of proof in our consumer app.

Are the workers real?

They absolutely are, and you will soon be able to send them a “Smiley” to show your appreciation for their contribution to your garment. Each worker has their own “workers app”, which means they can log into our system to verify whether they have been paid their salaries as per law.

What about other workers in the factory? There are only a few workers shown.

While there may only be a handful of people in each production unit that are associated with your garment, there are indeed many other people who work there. Don’t worry though, we haven’t forgotten about them. In fact, by visiting “Meet the Craftsmen” and then clicking “Visit factory”, you will find a breakdown of key facts of the production unit, like its total number of craftsmen and gender ratio.

How do we make sure that salaries are paid as per law?

Now, that is a brilliant question, and the even more brilliant thing is that WE don’t, but the WORKERS do! So here’s how it works:– The workers are all registered on the PaperTale system and every time they do any work on a particular garment, this is logged under their name. They can log in at any time and check that all their hours have been registered properly.

– On payday, the workers are then paid according to the exact number of hours they worked and as per the national law.

– The workers then log into the system and verify THEMSELVES that they have been paid the correct amount (this will show up as a green tick next to their salary payroll on the app).

There are three types of wages we calculate. PaperTale system offers a Fair wage category to make a balance and to make sure that we improve the system more with time.

Minimum wage
Minimum wages have been defined as “the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay wage earners for the work performed during a given period, which cannot be reduced by collective agreement or an individual contract”.

Living Wage
The remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place is sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and their family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.

Fair wage
A fair wage is a wage that is above the minimum wage but below the living wage. The lower limit of the fair wage is the minimum wage. However, the upper limit is to be set by the capacity of the industry to pay.

The PaperTale system shows a lot of information about workers. How do you guarantee their privacy?

For us, everything is about freedom and choice, and workers’ privacy is no exception! When each craftsman is signed up to the PaperTale system, they have the option to include their name and picture, or they can choose to remain a unique but anonymous “number in the system”. It is important to note that either option still leads to the worker being fully protected as in both scenarios they have the ability to login & verify their work and wages. Some craftsmen prefer to have a public profile on the system so that they can be acknowledged for their work while others simply seek the protection the PaperTale system offers.

Why PaperTale? What’s the difference from any other sustainable product or charity?

Honestly, we are not going to tell you that we are the ultimate company that is doing things better than everyone else, because there are a whole heap of people out there who are doing amazing work regarding humane production. Instead, we want to be the key to allow those incredible brands who are taking the centre stage for the common good, to deliver proof to consumers and distinguish themselves from brands who make false and empty claims. Our traceability is radical, but it’s the only way to truly stand out. If you have a brand who you think deserves this spotlight for its efforts, then why not use PaperTale to show that you mean business.

I’m still sceptical.

…wait, that’s not a question! However, we like a critical mind like yours. For our mission, we can use all the feedback we can get. So, do you think we’re doing something wrong, forgetting to pay attention to something, or do you have more questions? We beg you – please tell us by sending an email to: kim.vandijk@papertale.org.

We’ve made many mistakes and had struggles, as well as successes to get to where we are now. To be as transparent as possible, we are currently working on a new part of this site to inform you better about our journey and decision-making process. This will help you to understand the company so you can ask us better questions, and give more insightful criticism. Along with this journey, we will add a discussion forum on our site. Until then, thank you for your patience and feel free to send an email!